Thursday, August 27, 2009

Construction Update

As you all probably know, we are continuing to work on utilities, primarily stormwater at this time, in the 200 Block of S. Gay Street and occasionally back into the intersection with Vine Avenue.

We still are planning to work in the 2oo Block for the next several months until completion.

The picture below reflects generally the way this will look as we go forward. The scale is such that it is impossible to read, but a sign has been erected leading folks to the open sidewalk for access.

Additionally, we have moved the "We are Open" sign to the intersection with Summitt Hill as well for increased visibility.

Mostly electrical utility work remains in the 100 Block and should be finished in a couple of weeks depending on the scheduling of crews by KUB.

This picture is of the stormwater installation near the corner of Vine Avenue. We have removed a small portion of the sidewalk here to accomplish this task.

Above is a view of the 100 Block looking north

This is another picture of the 100 Block looking south.

Many people continue to have curiosity over the 'underground area' under the western sidewalk on the 100 Block. Here is a view from underground showing a coal shoot to the left of column 19. Notice the original brick leading to the basement areas.

This is another view of the underground as you enter from the stairway on Jackson Avenue under the Gay Street Viaduct.

We still have not heard anymore about the proposal on the Jackson Avenue parking lot situation detailed in my previous post. Just as soon as I know more, I will post it here.

Thanks for your interest.

Monday, August 24, 2009

City's Lease on Parking Lot Set to Expire

The City of Knoxville has begun notifying those parking in the parking lot at the corner of Gay and Jackson that its lease on the lot expires at the end of the month. Beginning, Tuesday, September 1, the city will be unable to assure that parking is available at that location. The City is hopeful that the owner of the lot will agree to the city’s offer to purchase the lot, pending approval by council, in which case the lease will be continued until the property transfer is finalized. If a tentative agreement is not reached free parking is available on Depot Street and in new lots under Interstate 40 near Magnolia and under the James White Parkway in the Old City.

KUB closure

S. Gay Street Lane Closure.

KUB crews will close one northbound lane of traffic at the W. Summit Hill intersection from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. beginning Monday evening, August 24, and lasting through Tuesday morning, August 25, as natural gas system repairs are completed. One northbound lane of S. Gay Street will remain open during this period. This work was originally scheduled to take place on August 20-21, but was rescheduled due to weather.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Construction Update

Work is continuing at the intersection of Vine Avenue and S. Gay Street as crews advance the sewer and stormwater utilities. We have managed to keep a lane of traffic onto Vine opened most of the time and the 200 Block has remained open.

Probably sometime next week we will completely shut down the 200 Block for about three months to finish up utility work and begin the process of road and sidewalk construction. The sidewalk on the west side of the street beside the Sterchi Loft parking lot will be torn out quickly as utilities must be replaced under that sidewalk first. We will sign and reroute pedestrians to the sidewalk on the east side of the 200 Block. Of course the office trailer will be moved to another location so sight distance should be improved.

We will also work on some utilities in the road and will finish up both the road and the sidewalk at once before proceeding to the remaining eastern sidewalk.

We also are now planning to begin work on the sidewalks in the 100 Block within the next month beginning at the former site of the Volunteer Ministry.

I will schedule a meeting to coincide with that bit of work so everyone can be clear as to what is to be done and when. I will also have a follow up meeting a few weeks later to discuss future timelines and any unexpected issues which may arise.

Some of you may have noticed the sign we placed on the Jackson Avenue parking lot recently stating that the City of Knoxville lease on that property is due to expire on September 1, 2009.
As most of you know, we are in negotiations to purchase that property and this expiration of lease notice is associated with that.

I will try to post more on this as the negotiations continue.

The rain has caused some delays and rescheduling of certain work but we continue to make progress.

Last, some have pointed out and I have noticed myself, the railing on the stairway leading down to Jackson Avenue is in serious disrepair due to, apparently, vandalism. We have notified our folks for a work order so hopefully we will have that corrected in short order.

Thanks for your continued patience, particularly those folks near Vine as that work has been very disruptive.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Construction Update

Thanks to all of those who attended our meeting on August 11, 2009. Your input is invaluable to us as we move this project forward.

As many of you know, we are working in the 200 Block on the sewer line and are trying to reopen S. Gay Street here each night.

When this is completed this week, we plan to move back into the intersection of Vine Avenue and S. Gay Street for around 3 weeks to finally tie in all of the utilities there. We are anticipating hitting more rock,unfortunately, so the work will likely be noisy and slow.

When that section of work is finished, we are now planning to completely shut down the 200 Block once again, leaving one sidewalk open at a time, as we finish up almost all of the work there. The first phase will be both in the roadway and also on the west sidewalk and will involve dealing with the fencing and landscaping next to the Sterchi Building parking lot as well.
When this is completed, then the eastern sidewalk will be reconstructed.

The result should be that, in three months or so, the 200 Block of S. Gay Street will be completed with new road, sidewalks and street furniture.

We also are planning to begin work on the sidewalk areas in the next month to six weeks as well. When that determination is made, I will schedule another meeting with the community.

It is my understanding that most of the folks moving in and out have finished so we will once again be strictly limiting access to the 100 Block. If anyone has a particular moving need, please contact me or if you see one of the folks at Southern Constructors on site, ask them for assistance.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Construction Update

Work is proceeding in the 2oo Block of S. Gay Street to replace the sewer line. One lane of the street may be open periodically using flagman as we have done before. The complete closure may occur in the next couple of weeks for up to three months. We continue to discuss logistics surrounding this next phase of work and are interested in your comments. I am hopeful that this topic will generate discussion at our 100 Block meeting on August 11, 2009 at 5pm at the Emporium. I have shared my views concerning keeping a least one sidewalk open with adequate signage and I have been assured that this will happen. Also, we have stated that under no circumstances can Vine Avenue and the 200 Block both be closed at the same time. The plan we have discussed also works around that situation. The idea is to go ahead and almost completely finish this phase of work including road and sidewalk so it will be virtually finished. I think this can be helpful as we will have created a more inviting entrance into the 100 block and will also showcase what the 100 Block will look like on completion.

There will likely be rock in at least some of the excavation in Vine Avenue and on the 200 Block so you can expect a bit more noise. There still remains a few utility conflicts to work out but we continue to make progress.

We also have a little more work to do on the 100 Block as several water meters need to be set.
The structural column work is still under review and sidewalk work will probably not commence before September. This work is still planned to start at the former Volunteer Ministry site and proceed south. Some of the discussion concerns the treatment of the remaining older sidewalk and our desire to rebuild it back to the way we found it.

You have probably noticed that we have taken down most if not all of the burlap on the fence. I think this has helped the look of the block since you can now see across the sidewalk once again. It is still a construction zone but that is progress.

As many of you have noticed, this past week and weekend was the time of year for folks to move in and out and many thanks to the Contractors for their assistance in getting people in and out of the work zone to move successfully. I related to KPD that anyone wishing to come into the work zone to load or unload needs to coordinate that move with folks at Southern Constructors who are responsible for the work site. Under no circumstances are people to move the construction barricades and pull into the 100 Block work area without permission. All of the building owners know how to get in touch with the Contractor for help hopefully in advance of any loading/unloading.

I hope everyone enjoys First Friday this week. It looks like the weather should cooperate. The shops and Galleries on the 100 Block rely on the continued support of all of us. I hope to see you there.

Monday, August 3, 2009

August 11, 2009 meeting

Media Advisory

What: The City of Knoxville is hosting a public meeting updating the status of the ongoing Gay Street Streetscapes project on the 100 and 200 Blocks of Gay Street

When: 5 p.m., Tuesday, August 11

Where: Emporium Building, 100 S. Gay Street

This is the latest in an ongoing series of periodic meetings to provide an update on construction activities on the 100 and 200 blocks of Gay Street and discuss various issues with residents and business owners. City officials and contractors will also talk about future work and schedules during the meeting.

The near $4 million project is slated to last 18 months and includes much needed repair and reconstruction work on the underground structures supporting the block – which was raised above the original street in 1919. The work also includes the replacement of the street and both sidewalks, major utility upgrades and streetscape improvements.

More information about the Gay Street Streetscapes Project is available at

100 Block Streetscapes

August 11, 2009
5:00 pm

1. Call to Order
2. Review of work to date
3. Work to be accomplished in the next two months
a.) Utility work at Vine Avenue
b.) Utility work and Streetscape on the 200 Block
c.) Work on sidewalks
d.) Grading of 100 Block
4. Other issues
a.) Deliveries
b.) Parking lot
c.) Security
d.) Access
5. Questions and concerns
6. Adjourn